Parallel principles exist between disciplines. What is true for, say, writing is often true for music. I recently subscribed to the Habit Weekly, a writing advice resource by Jonathan Rogers. This week he brought his readers to an observation of Stephen King's: "Life isn't a support-system for art. It's the other way around."
We live first - we love our families and our neighbors - we let that life inspire art - and we let our art adorn that life. Not that the craft can't be serious and time-consuming (and often must be), but if it becomes too much so it may exhaust itself and become pointless.
That sentiment and this picture capture the genesis of a piano piece released today.
You see the shadow of a man, husband, and dad who is taking his son for a walk by neighboring fields. So much is pleasant: the openness, the accessibility, the beauty of the hillside. So much is right: this man loving his son with a simple act. But this field had been a scene of war, and to this day a shovel would find lead artifacts from that era. This man is pushing his son because a mysterious disorder has robbed the boy of most of the abilities the rest of us enjoy.
When playing these piano pieces, all these things come to mind. We are living, literally and metaphorically, in battlescapes.
"Schoolhouse Ridge" is a solo piano piece named for a series of fields in which Stonewall Jackson based maneuvers ahead of Antietam, maneuvers which led to the largest capture of federal troops during the Civil War. Today, we walk our dogs and take our children to Schoolhouse Ridge. And it was because the dad in this picture developed a running hobby - for his son's sake - and ran the Schoolhouse Ridge trails that the idea for this piano piece formed.
It's now available for stream or download in most places.